Actors and Chess
by Bill Wall

Claude Akins (1926-1994) was an enthusiastic chess player. He learned how to play chess in college and played chess with friends and actors throughout his life. During the making of the 1959 movie Rio Bravo (he played Joe Burdette), he played chess constantly with John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Ricky Nelson. Akins said that he taught Dean Martin how to play chess. In 1973, Claude starred in Battle for the Planet of the Apes (he was Aldo). Between takes, Claude was always playing chess in a gorilla costume. Claude played in one of Walter Browne's blitz tournaments and was a spectator (along with Morgan Fairchild and Gene Scherer) with a front row seat at the 1988 World Action Chess Championship in Mazatlan, Mexico. One of his regular chess partners was actor William Windom (1923-Aug 16, 2012). There is a photo of Claude Akins and William Windom playing chess in the March 1988 issue of Chess Life.

Actor Alan Alda (born in 1936) is a chess player. He usually plays chess on his computer. In the 1977 CBS TV movie, Kill Me if You Can, Alda played Caryl Chessman (1921-1960), who spent 12 years on death row before being executed in 1960. Chessman played chess while on death row. In the 2011 movie, Tower Heist, he plays chess online. Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), as a crooked businessman, talks to Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) about the Marshall chess swindle involving Frank Marshall and Lewitsky in a World Championship game in 1912 in Helsinki. Alda called the swindle as the greatest move in the history of chess. Alda should have known better. It was a real game, but not a world championship game, and not in Helsinki (it was played in Breslau, now called Wroclaw). Alan's father, Robert Alda (1914-1986), may also have been a chess player. Robert Alda played a chess hustler (Bruce Conrad) in the 1946 movie, Beast with Five Fingers. His opponent was Francis Ingram (Victor Francen). (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Film comedian Woody Allen (1935- ) plays chess on occasion, and taught his stepson, Moses Farrow, how to play.

American stage, screen and voice actor Michael Ansara (1922-2013) played chess.

British stage and film actor George Arliss (1868-1946) played chess and collected chess sets. Arliss played chess in the 1933 film, Voltaire.

Actor James Arness (1923-2011) played chess.

Actor Lew Ayres (1908-1996) played chess. He was on the executive board of the Hollywood Chess Club, along with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., in the 1930s. In the 1946 movie, The Dark Mirror, psychiatrist Scott Eliot (Lew Ayres) studies a chess position at home. (source: Chess Life, Sep 1988, p. 30)

Actor Adam Baldwin (1962- ) plays chess. In 1987, he starred in Full Metal Jacket. While on the set, he played about 50 games of chess with Stanley Kubrick. When Baldwin was asked if he had a great memory from Full Metal Jacket, he responded, "Beating Stanley Kubrick at chess." There is a photo of him playing blitz chess with William Windom in 1988. In the 1992 movie, Deadbolt, Alec (Adam Baldwin) plays chess with Marty Hiller (Justine Bateman) and Jordan (Chris Mulkey).

Actor Alec Baldwin (1958- ) plays chess. In 2013, he donated $2,500 to help the chess team at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island defray the cost of traveling to a national scholastic chess event. The team took 8th place out of 63 teams at the Supernationals in Nashville, Tennessee.

Actor Antonio Banderas (1960- ) plays chess. In the 1995 movie, Assassins, Miguel Bain (Antonio Banderas) plays chess with Robert Rath (Sylvester Stallone). In the 2008 movie, The Other Man, Ralph (Antonio Banderas) plays chess with Paul (Liam Neeson).

John Barrymore (1882-1942) was perhaps the strongest chess player in Hollywood, according to Fritz Feld. He played chess with Herman Steiner. John's older brother, Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954), was also a chess player. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Actor Dan Blocker (1978-1972), who played Hoss Cartwright on Bonanza, played chess. He and Michael Landon played chess while on the set of Bonanza.

Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) is perhaps the most well-known chess-playing actor. He learned chess as a teenager in New York City. In 1929, after the stock market crashed, he hustled chess players for money in New York City parks and at Coney Island. He was known to have played chess and hustle in Times Square as late as 1933. In the 1942 movie, Casablanca, Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) played chess with Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains). All the chess playing scenes were his idea. He wanted a character that was a chess player that drank too much. There were some chess scenes of Bogart studying a chess game while Peter Lorre looked on, but these scenes did not make the final cut in the film. During the making of Casablanca, Bogart played several games with Paul Henreid (1908-1992), who played Victor Laszlo in Casablanca. According to Henreid, Bogart didn't win a single game from him. During World War II, Bogart played correspondence chess with sever GIs overseas. One of his chess postcards to one of the troops sold for $2,500 in a recent Hollywood auction. In 1944, during the making of Passage to Marseille, Bogart played many of the actors and film crew during breaks. In the June-July 1945 issue of Chess Review, Bogart and his new wife, Lauren Bacall, appeared in the cover while Bogart played Charles Boyer a game of chess during a break in the making of The Confidential Agent. Bogart showed up on the set almost every lunch hour in the set to play Boyer a game of chess. In the 1949 movie, Knock on Any Door, attorney Andrew Morton (Humphrey Bogart) is playing chess with Susan Perry (Candy Toxton) and Mr. Elkins (Curt Conway). During breaks of his films, Bogart played a lot of chess with his make-up artist, Karl Silvera. In the early 1950s, Marlon Brando would drive over to Bogart's elegant mansion in Holmby Hills, and the two would play chess for hours. In the 1955 movie, The Left Hand of God, Jim Carmody/Father O'Shea (Humphrey Bogart) checkmates Dr. Dave Sigmond (E.G. Marshall). In 1956, Bogart, as Black, drew former U.S. chess champion Sammy Reshevsky in a 70 board simultaneous exhibition in Los Angeles. The game lasted 28 moves in a bishop and pawns vs knight and pawns endgame. A few years earlier, Bogart lost to George Koltanowski in a blindfold exhibition in San Francisco. When Bogart was dying of cancer, his only activity with friends was playing chess. His most common chess partner in his last days was screenwriter and film director Richard Brooks, who probably was Bogart's last chess opponent in late 1956.

Actor Charles Boyer (1899-1978) played chess. In June-July 1945, he appeared on the cover of Chess Review magazine playing a game of chess with Humphrey Bogart. He played chess with Dr. Walter O. Cruz, chess champion of Brazil between scenes of Confidential Agent. (source: CHESS, April 1946)

Actor Marlon Brando (1924-2004) played chess. Chess was a lifelong passion with Brando. He learned chess as a teenager and tried to teach his friend, Wally Cox (1924-1973), how to play chess.  Brando later moved to New York City and continued to play chess.  He was not a strong player and a poor loser. Whenever he lost, he would knock all the pieces off the board and say, "I'm bored."  He did play a lot of chess anc would call his friends at all hours to invite them over to play some chess.  Sondra Lee, an actress and Brando's girlfriend during his theater days, played chess and was able to beat Marlon Brando in most of the games they played.  Marlon Brando almost always played chess between scenes and during breaks on the movie sets.  In 1953, Marlon Brando played chess between scenes while filming Julius Caesar.  A Hollywood reporter wanted to get an interview with Brando.  Brando agreed if the reporter would play a game of chess with him.  The reporter did play a game of chess against Brando and won.  Brando later said about the interview, "That was the worst interview I ever gave."  Brando played many chess games with Humphrey Bogart. When Brando died, his chess sets were auctioned by Christie's in Los Angeles in 2005 (purchased by Neville Tuli, an art collector).

Actor George Brent (1889-1979) was a strong chess player. (source: Chess Review, Apr 1940, p. 60)

Writer, director, actor and comedian Mel Brooks (1926- ) played chess. International Master Kim Commons gave him chess lessons. He incorporated chess-playing scenes in many of his movies.

Actor Peter Brown (1935-2016) played chess.

Nigel Bruce (1895-1953), who was best known for his portrayal of Dr. Watson, played chess. He was a member of the Hollywood Chess Group and the Herman Steiner Chess Club. He played in several Hollywood chess tournaments. In the 1940 movie, Susan and God, Hutchie (Nigel Bruce) plays chess with Amos (Sam Harris). In the 1943 movie, Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) helps Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) solve a mystery by playing a living chess game from moves found in a family ritual. (source: Chess Life, Nov 1992, p. 23)

British actor Richard Burton (1925-1984) played chess. He played chess in several movies.

Actor James Caan (1940- ) plays chess. He played chess with John Wayne. James Caan's son, Scott Caan, also plays chess.

Sid Caesar (1922-2014) played chess. In Who's Who, it mentions that chess was his leisure activity.

Actor Nicolas Cage (1964- ) plays chess and is a member of the Internet Chess Club (ICC). In 1999, he sent his son, Weston, to a chess master to take chess lessons.

Actor Rory Calhoun (1922-1999), best known for starring in a large number of Westerns in the 1950s and 1960s, played chess. (source: Modern Screen, Mar 1958, p. 39)

Actor and comedian Drew Carey (1958- ) plays chess.

Actor Jeff Chandler (1918-1961), best remembered for playing Cochise in Broken Arrow, played chess. (source: Chess Review, Apr 1950, p. 97)

Silent screen comedian Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) occasionally played chess. In 1921, he was one of 20 players to play simultaneously against Sammy Reshevsky at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. (source: Chess Life, Dec 1992, p. 37)

Actor Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) played chess. In the 1939 movie, Golden Boy, Mr. Bonaparte (Lee J. Cobb) plays chess with Mr. Carp (William Strauss). In the 1948 movie, The Dark Past, Dr. Andrew Collins (Lee J. Cobb) plays chess with Al Walker (William Holden). Cobb played Wally Look of the Los Angeles Times in an off-hand game during a break in the shooting of the movie Call Northside 777. Jimmy Stewart (1908-1997) kibitzed during the game. (source: Chess Review, Feb 1949, p. 4)

Actor Charles Coburn (1877-1961) was a strong chess player. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

From 1958 to 1963, actor John Connell (1923-2015) played Dr. David Malone in the TV series "Young Doctor Malone." Connell was a chess player and played chess with his family. Another chess player on the show was actor Peter Brandon (1926-1983), who played Dr. Ted Powell. (source: Radio TV Mirror, Jul 1960, p. 51 and Dec 1960, p. 53)

Actor Sean Connery (1930- ) plays chess. As a young man, he was a keen chess player. There are photographs of him playing Patrick McGoohan on the set of Hell Drivers. (source: Bray, Sean Connery: A Biography)

Jackie Coogan (1914-1984) played chess. He received some chess coaching from Sammy Reshevsky (Rzeszewski). (source: Visual Education, Feb 1923, p. 61). Coogan played chess in the 1923 film Daddy. Later, Coogan played chess with John Aston during the filming of the TV series Addams Family.

Bill Cosby (1937- ) played chess.

Actor Tom Cruise (1962- ) plays chess. He played chess with Stanley Kubrick on the set of Eyes Wide Shut.

Macaulay Culkin (1980- ) plays chess.

Actor Timothy Dalton (1944- ), who played James Bond, plays chess. In the past, he has visited the London Chess Centre and purchased an expensive wooden chess set.

Matt Damon (1970- ) plays chess.

Ted Danson (1947- ), best known for his acting in Cheers, plays chess and has played Woody Harrelson in the past (Harrelson is the better player). In the 1980 TV film, Lethal Games, Jack Chenault (Ted Danson) plays chess with a computer. In the 2005 TV film, Knights of the South Bronx, Richard (Ted Danson) is a chess teacher and coach.

Actor Helmut Dantine (1918-1982) was a good chess player. He played a refugee in Casablanca. Helmut played chess with Humphrey Bogart between scenes in the 1944 movie "Passage to Marseille." Helmut called chess his favorite diversion. Helmut and Bogart were just about even in chess skill. After the movie, the two continued to play chess over the telephone. Helmut always carried a portable chess board in the glove compartment of his car, just in case. (source: Modern Screen, Jun 1944, p. 91)

Bobby Darin (1936-1973) was an American singer and actor who loved to play chess. In 1973, he was about to sponsor one of the largest chess tournaments in the United States when he died after heart surgery. The Darin Classic would have been a $25,000 prize tournament. Darin often played chess on his weekly TV show, the Bobby Darin Show. He was playing chess just before he went into surgery. His wife, Sandra Dee, also played chess. Bobby Darin's son, Dodd, runs a chess publishing house.

Henry Darrow (1933- ) plays chess. He once held former world chess champion Boris Spassky to a draw and says he played Bobby Fischer. In an interview, he said he won many chess championships when he was young. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Larry David (1947- ) plays chess.

Actor James Dean (1931-1955) played chess. He played chess when on breaks during the filming of Rebel Without a Cause.

Danny DeVito (1944- ) plays chess.

Actor Dustin Diamond (1977- ) is a chess player. In 2001, he made a video called Dustin Diamond Teaches Chess. His father taught him how to play chess. He said he was master strength, but his highest USCF rating was 1369 in 1999.

The American actor and producer Leonardo DiCaprio (1974- ) has been seen in public playing chess with a chess clock with some of his friends.

Scottish actor James Donald (1917-1993) played chess. He played chess with actor David Farrar (1908-1995) between takes of Cage of Gold.

Actor Tony Dow (1945- ) plays chess. (source: Radio TV Mirror, Aug 1958, p. 18)

Clint Eastwood (130- ) plays chess.

Actor Erik Estrada (1949- ) plays chess. He used to play chess against William Windom and has played in a celebrity chess tournament. An online article says that Estrada played in several USCF-rated tournaments, maintaining a rating of 1400, but the present USCF rating lookup shows no Erik Estrada. (source: Chess Life, Sep 1988, p. 30)

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr (1909-2000) played chess. In 1931, Douglas fired a night watchman to guard their home in Brentwood. The first night he was on duty, Douglas went out and began to chat with him. He discovered that the watchman played chess. Soon, they were playing every evening in the garage. Douglas's wife, Joan Crawford, wasn't very happy about this. He was the president of the Hollywood Chess Club in 1932. (source: Photoplay, June 1931, p. 112)

Peter Falk (1927-2011) played chess. He took chess lessons from master Dennis Waterman and visited chess tournaments. (source: ChessBase News, July 4, 2011 -

Mike Farrell (1939- ) plays chess. He played Alan Alda on the set of M*A*S*H and was the stronger player. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Character actor Fritz Feld (1900-1993) played a lot of chess. He had a collection of over 300 photos of himself playing chess with other actors and actresses. His collection was exhibited at the Library of the Performing Arts at the Lincoln Center in New York. In the 1940s, U.S. chess champion Herman Steiner and International Master (later honorary grandmaster) George Koltanowski would visit his home in the evenings and they would play chess until 6 am the following morning. He played chess with Janet Leigh. He considered John Barrymore as the strongest chess player in Hollywood, followed by Humphrey Bogart, Charles Boyer, Charles Coburn, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Jose Ferrer (1912-1992) was an avid chess player. He played a game with Sammy Reshevsky and met Bobby Fischer. He acted as master of ceremonies during the 1961 Fischer-Reshevsky match potion that was held in Los Angeles. He took chess lessons from Herman Steiner and master Bob Jacobs. (Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Actor Errol Flynn (1909-1959) played chess. He played chess with Olivia de Havilland on the set of the film 'They Died with Their Boots On.' Errol also played correspondence chess. (source: CHESS, Nov 14, 1937, p. 79)

Glenn Ford (1916-2006) was a chess player. He played many games with Marlon Brando. He played correspondence chess with a Marine buddy stationed in China. (source: Modern Screen, Feb 1947, p. 53)

The Fonda family all played chess in real life and in film. In 1966, Henry Fonda (1905-1982) attended the second Piatigorsky Cup chess tournament in Santa Monica. In the 1976 movie, Futureworld, Chuck Brown (Peter Fonda) played chess with Traly Ballard (Blythe Danner). In the 1978 file, The Greatest Battle, General Foster (Henry Fonda (1905-1982)) had a chessboard and chess position in front of him in one of the scenes. When she was 21, Jane Fonda (1937- ) played chess with Susan Strasberg on the beach in Malibu. It was during these chess games that Jane was encouraged to take acting lessons and become an actress. Jane Fonda encourages chess playing among children and teenagers at risk. Jane played chess with her ex-husband, Roger Vadim (1928-2000) in the 1960s.

Glenn Ford (1916-2006) played chess. He played chess with Marlon Brando. (source: Peter Ford, Glenn Ford: A Life, 2011, p. 274)

Actor Jamie Foxx (1967- ) plays chess. He started playing chess at age 7 from his biological father. He played chess between scenes in the movie, Jarhead.

Clark Gable (1901-1960) played chess. There is a photo of him playing chess with Van Johnson during World War II. He also greeted Max Euwe, Sammy Reshevsky, and Herman Steiner when they visited him on set in 1949.

Paul Giamatti (1967- ) plays chess. He played chess on the set of Billions, filmed in Washington Square Park in Manhattan.

Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr (1968- ) plays chess. He was the main character in Life of a King, about a chess player.

Cary Grant (1904-1986) played chess. He played chess in the 1942 movies, Talk of the Town.

Sydney Greenstreet (1879-1954) played chess. He played chess with Humphrey Bogart.

Actor Woody Harrelson (1961- ) plays chess. He played Garry Kasparov to a draw in 1999. He was at the 2018 World Chess Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana in London. He made the first move for Fabiano Caruana. He accidently knocked over the king.

Rex Harrison (1908-1990) played chess. (source: Wapshott, Rex Harrison: A Biography, p. 13)

Actor Paul Henreid (1908-1992) played chess. He played Victor Laszlo in Casablanca. Paul was considered an excellent chess player, along with Humphrey Bogart. They both played chess between scenes. (source: Modern Screen, Jul 1946, p. 41)

Actor Charlton Heston (1923-2008) played chess. He played chess on his high school chess team at New Trier High School in Chicago.

Dustin Hoffman (1937- ) plays chess.

Actor William Holden (1918-1981) played chess. (source: Screenland, Jul 1951, p. 59)

Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins (1937- ) plays chess.

Actor Bob Hoskins (1942-2014) played chess.

Actor Leslie Howard (1893-1943) played chess.

Actor and director Ron Howard (1954- ) plays chess. He lists chess as his hobby. He taught his three daughter how to play chess. (source: Scouting Magazine, Oct 1997, p. 37)

Rock Hudson (1925-1985) played chess. He played chess with Sandra Dee between takes of the movie Come September. He played chess at his New Port Beach home and his Hollywood Hills home during the 1950s. He was a chronic browser for antiques and purchased several chess sets. (source: Life magazine, Feb 16, 1962)

Actor Rick Jason (1923-200) played chess. He was a member of the Beverly Hills Chess Club and visited various chess clubs in the Los Angeles area. He played chess with fellow chess players in the crew of the movie Prescription for Murder.

Actor Van Johnson (1916-2008) played chess. He played June Allyson during takes on The Bride Goes Wild. He played Clark Gable during World War II.

Actor Harvey Keitel (1939- ) plays chess.

Actor Jack Kelly (1927-1992), who played Bart Maverick in the TV series Maverick, was a chess player. (source: Radio TV Mirror, Oct 1958, p. 46)

Kevin Kline (1947- ) plays chess. He improved his chess game for the 2009 film Queen to Play.

Actor Michael Landon (1936-1991) played chess. Landon played chess a lot between takes on Bonanza, including chess games with actor Dan Blocker (1928-1972). (source: TV Radio Mirror, Jan 1962, p. 29)

Actor Jude Law (1972- ) plays chess. He oftentimes will play chess when taking a break during the shooting of a film. He was a keen chess player in primary school.

Martin Lawrence (1965- ) plays chess.

Australian actor Heath Ledger (1979-2008) was an avid chess player. He learned chess at an early age and said he played at least one game of chess a day. He used to play almost every day at the Washington Square Park in New York. He won the Western Australia Junior Chess Championship at the age of 10.

Actor and comedian Harold Lloyd (1893-1971) listed chess as one of his hobbies. (source: Movie Classic, Feb 1936, p. 34)

Actor Peter Lorre (1904-1964) played chess.

Actor Tobey Maguire (1975- ) plays chess. He plays Bobby Fischer in the 2014 movie, Pawn Sacrifice.

French actor and mime Marcel Marceau (1923-2007) played chess to relax.

English actor Herbert Marshall (1890-1966) played correspondence chess with a British schoolmate as he made movies in Hollywood. Later, he made numerous appearances on the Armed Forces Radio Service, hosting a variety of shows. (source: Modern Screen, Oct 1941, p. 9)

Singer and actor Dean Martin (1917-1995) played chess. He played chess with John Wayne and Claude Akins. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Actor and comedian Steve Martin (1945- ) plays chess. He played chess with director Stanley Kubrick when he visited his house in England. Steve was in the audience during the 1990 Kasparov-Karpov world championship match in New York.

The Marx brothers may have played chess.

Actor Jerry Mathers (1948- ), who played Beaver in 'Leave It To Beaver,' is a chess enthusiast. (source Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Walter Matthau (1920-2000) played chess. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Patrick McGoohan (1928-2009) played chess.

Actor Ray Milland (1907-1986) played chess. He played chess during breaks on the film Hostile Witness. He usually had two chess sets in his dressing room at the studios. He used one to play on, and another for a correspondence game he was involved with. (source: Chess Review, Aug 1938, p. 182)

Actor Robert Mitchum (1917-1997) played chess. He used to play chess with John Wayne.

Yves Montand (1925-1991) played chess. Actor Robert Montgomery (1904-1981) and father to actress Elizabeth Montgomery, was a chess player.

Rick Moranis (1954- ) plays chess. He was a spectator at the 1990 World Chess Championship in New York.

Frank Morgan (1890-1949), best known for playing the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz, played chess. (source: Chess Review, Jan 1938, p. 2)

Actor Barry Morse (1918-2008) played chess.

Sam Neill (1947- ) plays chess.

Actor Paul Newman (1925-2008) played chess but wasn't very good at it. He played George C. Scott on the set of The Hustler in 1961. (source: Levy, Paul Newman: A Life, 2009, p. 156)

Fred Niblo (1874-1948) was an American pioneer film actor, appearing in films from 1916 to 1932. He was a member of the Beverly Hills Chess Club in the 1930s.

Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015) played chess.

Actor David Niven (1910-1983) played chess. He played on the set of 'The Guns of Navarone' after Anthony Quinn organized a chess tournament for the actors, which included Gregory Peck and James Darren. David Niven's son was also played chess and was a strong player.

Chuck Norris (1940- ) plays chess.

Edward Norton (1969- ) plays chess.

Actor Carroll O'Connor (1924-2001) played chess.

Donald O'Connor (1925-2003) played chess. (source: Chess Review, April 1950, p. 97)

Sir Laurence Olivier (1907-1989) played chess.

Actor Al Pacino (1940- ) plays chess. He played chess on the set of Righteous Kill. He said he was always looking for chess players to play chess when he traveled.

Gregory Peck (1916-2003) played chess. He taught Polly Bergen how to play chess during the making of Cape Fear in 1962. He played chess with others on the set of The Guns of Navarone in 1961. He often played chess with his wife, Veronique Passani. (source: Modern Screen, Aug 1946, p. 31)

George Peppard (1928-1994) played chess.

Walter Pidgeon (1898-1984) played chess.

William Powell (1892-1984) played chess.

Canadian-American actor Jason Priestley (1969- ) plays chess.

Actor Bill Pullman (1953- ) plays chess.

Actor Dick Purcell (1908-1944) listed chess as one of his indoor activities. (source: Silhouettes of Stars, 1937, p. 142)

Dennis Quaid (1954- ) plays chess.

Anthony Quinn (1915-2001) played chess. He played chess with Gregory Peck on the set of The Guns of Navarone. Quinn sometimes visited the Manhattan Chess Club in New York to play chess. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Tony Randall (1920-2004) played chess. He appeared with Bobby Fischer in 1972 on the Dick Cavett Show. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p.32)

Basil Rathbone (1892-1967) played chess. (source: Chess Life, Nov 1992, p. 23)

Charles Ray (1891-1943) was a silent film actor who starred in over a dozen silent movies. He usually portrayed young, wholesome country boy in silent comedy films. He was a great chess fan and often sat by himself figuring out chess moves. (source: Film Fun, Jul 1917)

Actor Keanu Reeves (1964- ) is a strong chess player. He learned chess as a boy. He played on his high school chess team and hustled chess for a dollar a game in Toronto. To unwind, he says he plays chess with his computer.

Chris Rock (1965- ) plays chess. He played chess in the 2002 movie, Bad Company.

Kurt Russell (1951- ) plays chess. (source: Chess Life, 2002, p. 565)

George Sanders (1906-1972) played chess.

Gene Scherer (1937-2015) played chess. (source: Chess Life, Sep 1988, p. 30)

Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947- ) is an avid chess player. In 2002, he played a friendly game with Garry Kasparov.

Actor George C. Scott (1927-1999) played chess. He played chess with director Stanley Kubrick during breaks on the set of Dr. Strangelove. He played chess with Marlon Brando on the set of 'The Formula.'

Actor Steven Seagal (1952- ) plays chess. While visiting the Republic of Kalmykia, he played chess with FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Milton Sills (1882-1930) was an American stage and film actor of the early 20th century. He was a chess player and member of the Beverly Hills Chess Club. He was one of the strongest chess players in Hollywood who played chess blindfolded and never lost to anyone in Hollywood or Beverly Hills.

Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) played chess. There is a picture of him playing former 6-time U.S. chess champion, Walter Browne. There is another picture of him sitting at the chess board with former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov.

Actor Will Smith (1968- ) plays chess. His father taught him how to play at age 7. Will Smith endorsed the Millionaire Chess Tournament held in Las Vegas in 2014. He took some chess lessons from Chicago's National Master Marvin Dandridge and GM Maurice Ashley.

Actor Kevin Spacey (1959- ) plays chess.

Sylvester Stallone (1946- ) plays chess. He plays chess with his daughter.

Jimmy Stewart (1908-1997) played chess. In 1954, he and Wendell Corey (1914-1968) played chess between scenes of "Rear Window." Grace Kelly (1929-1982) was also a chess player and kibitzed during their games.

Actor Kiefer Sutherland (1966- ) plays chess. He is a big fan of the game of chess. There is a photo of him playing chess at a pub in London, taken in 2007. He plays chess with his daughter.

Actor Lawrence Tierney (1919-2002) was a strong chess player.

Actor Franchot Tone (1905-1968) played chess and always carried a miniature chess set to the studio with him. He was a leading man in many films. He was one of the strongest chess players in Hollywood.

Spencer Tracy (1900-1967) played chess. He played chess with Humphrey Bogart.

Silent screen start Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926) played chess.

Rudy Vallee (1901-1986) played chess. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1988, p. 32)

Conrad Veidt (1893-1943) played chess.

Actor Allen Vincent (1903-1979) was a chess player and a frequent opponent to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

Actor Jesse Vint (1952- ) plays chess and won the World Celebrity Chess Championship in 1988, held at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles. He has played chess against Anatoly Karpov.

Christopher Walken (1943- ) plays chess.

Ray Walston (1914-2001) played chess.

Actor Burt Ward (1945- ) plays chess. He was the strongest member of his high school's chess team. He played chess in college.

Actor John Wayne (1907-1979) played chess well. He had a chess board permanently set up on his 136-foot boat, The Wild Goose. When he took friends for boat rides, he played chess.

Richard Widmark (1914-2008) played chess.

Actor Cornel Wilde (1912-1989) played chess. (source: Modern Screen, Aug 1947, p. 58)

Actor Guy Williams (1924-1989) played chess. He played chess between takes during Lost in Space. Living in New York, he used to go to Central Park to play chess and visited the Manhattan Chess Club. A biography says that he competed in chess tournaments.

Robin Williams (1951-2014) played chess.

Veteran actor William Windom (1923-2012) was an enthusiastic chess player. He was a life member of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) and rated 1540, last playing in 1991. He was profiled twice in 'Chess Life' magazine. He used to play and beat John Wayne.

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